Health department investigates Smithfield Foods after worker contracts TB


TONIGHT’S TOP STORY – A BIG HEALTH SCARE. THANKS FOR JOINING US – I’M TOM SCHAAD. AN EMPLOYEE AT A LOCAL FOOD PACKING PLANT HAS TUBERCULOSIS. BUT, IT’LL BE WEEKS BEFORE A FULL HEALTH DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETE. 10 ON YOUR SIDE’S BRANDI CUMMINGS JUST GOT BACK FROM SMITHFIELD – BRANDI, YOU WENT TO FIND OUT HOW OTHER WORKERS MAY BE AFFECTED. TOM- TONIGHT HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE WORKING TO EASE FEARS. THAT EVEN AS THEY WAIT ON TEST RESULTS TO SEE HOW MANY OTHERS MAY TEST POSITIVE FOR TUBERCULOSIS. OFFICIALS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HAVE LAUNCHED A LARGE SCALE INVESTIGATION AT THE SMITHFIELD PACKING PLANT AFTER ONE WORKER TESTED POSITIVE FOR TUBERCULOSIS. SOT – AMAL PATEL, WESTERN TIDEWATER HEALTH DISTRICT / 1:05:16 WE WILL DETERMINE WHETHER THEY WORK, LOOK AT THEIR WORKSPACE, SEE HOW CLOSE CO-WORKERS ARE TO THEM. SEE HOW THE VENTILATION SYSTEM IS IN THE ROOM. 1:05:30 HEALTH OFFICIALS WERE ALERTED OF THIS CASE DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF OCTOBER. SINCE THEN, THE INFECTED EMPLOYEE IS NO LONGER AT THE PLANT AND CO-WORKERS ARE BEING TESTED. SOT – AMAL PATEL, WESTERN TIDEWATER HEALTH DISTRICT / 1:09:22 AT THIS POINT, WE ARE CONCENTRATING ON THE PEOPLE THAT ARE MOST AT RISK. THESE CLOSE CONTACTS. TB DISEASE IS NOT SOMETING THAT HAPPENS IN A DAY WEEK OR MOTH. IT TAKES SOME TIME TO DEVELOP. 1:09:36 SPREAD PERSON TO PERSON, THROUGH THE AIR…. SOMEONE WITH AN ACTIVE FORM OF TUBERCULOSIS CAN HAVE SYMPTOMS THAT INCLUDE: COUGH, FEVER, WEIGHT LOSS, CHEST PAIN, AND SWEATING AT NIGHT. SOT – AMAL PATEL, WESTERN TIDEWATER HEALTH DISTRICT / 1:05:30 TB IF YOU HAVE SOMEONE WHO IS INFECTIONS DOES TAKE A PROLONGED EXPOSURE IN KIND OF A CLOSED SPACE LIKE A CLASSROOM OR OFFICE. TYPE BUILDING FOR YOU TO BECOME INFECTED. 1:05:49 AN EMPLOYEE GAVE 10 ON YOUR SIDE THIS LETTER FROM THE COMPANY. IT SHOWS THE INFECTED EMPLOYEE WAS WORKING IN THE SMITHFIELD NORTH PLANT. IT ALSO TELLS WORKERS HEALTH OFFICIALS WOULD BE TALKING DIRECTLY TO EMPLOYES WHO ARE POTENTIALLY AT RISK. FOR OTHERS, HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE THIS MESSAGE: SOT – AMAL PATEL, WESTERN TIDEWATER HEALTH DISTRICT / 1:09:55 AT THIS POINT ITS JUST GOOD TO BE AWARE OF OTHERS THAT COULD POTENTIALLY AT RISK. 1:10:06 COULD POTENTIALLY AT RISK. 1:10:06 THE HEALTH OFFICIAL I SPOKE TO TONIGHT EXPLAINED THAT THEY HAVE DONE SKIN TESTS ON THE EMPLOYEES MOST AT RISK. IN ANOTHER 8 TO 10 WEEKS, THEY WILL DO ANOTHER SKIN TEST TO SEE IF RESULTS HAVE CHANGED. LIVE IN THE NEWSROOM IM BRANDI CUMMINGS 10 ON YOUR SIDE. A SPOKESPERSON FOR SMITHFIELD FOODS SENT US A STATEMENT SAYING THEY WERE AWARE OF THE EMPLOYEE BEING TREATED FOR SYMPTOMS, BUT THE SITUATION POSES NO FOOD SAFETY RISK. READH THE FULL STATEMENT ON WAVY.COM UNDER THIS STORY.

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